Abstract: The Last Neandertals
Human evolution can be traced back 7,000,000 years. Modern humans evolved in Africa only 200,000 years ago and as recently as 26,000 years ago we shared parts of the world with at least one other species—the Neandertals. Since the discovery of the first Neandertal remains in 1856 in Germany, this species has generated controversy, whether it is questions concerning their genetic relationship to modern humans, their capacity for language and artistic expression, or the reasons for their extinction. This lecture will present current research findings that are transforming our understanding of these ancient people and will focus, in particular, on the last surviving populations of Neandertals in Gibraltar.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):
The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neandertals Died Out and We Survived by Clive Finlayson. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2009).
Cave Art by Jean Clottes, 2nd edition. (2010). Phaidon Press.
The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams. (2004). Thames and Hudson.